Puto is a Filipino favorite that is a must for Urdas (Hungry Ghost Festival). The reason for this is that in order to keep the hungry and agitated dead from crossing over to the real world is to offer them foods that they loved in life. Puto steamed cakes, especially the cheesy ones, do just that.
Philippines Cheesy Puto
- small saucepan
- Large bowl
- 14 Silicone muffin or paper cupcake cups
- Wok or large pot with steamer.
- Whisk and rubber spatula
- ¼ cup Unsalted butter
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- ¾ cup Evaporated milk (Sub: whole milk)
- 1½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Water
- 1½ cup All-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- ½ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded or grated
- 14 Strips of cheddar cheese, for topping
- Butter or oil for brushing molds
- Combine flour, sugar, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Lightly whisk in milk and egg at medium speed until the batter just becomes smooth. Gently fold in the shredded cheese.
- Grease each mold with butter and fill them ¾ of the way with batter.
- Fill the bottom of a wok or steamer and bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat. Place molds in the steamer basket and place a kitchen towel between the steamer racks and the top cover to keep moisture from dripping into the batter. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes. A toothpick inserted that comes out clean indicates they're done.
- Remove lid and top each puto with a strip of cheese. Steam for another minute or so. When cheese strip has melted, remove from heat and crack cover slightly to cool. Remove Cheesy puto from molds, plate and serve.